Help Us Get Parental Alienation Added To The DSM!

The National Parents Association is requesting that all help to get parental alienation included in The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Produced by the American Psychiatric Association:


As you know, parental alienation is a problem that affects many and ruins children’s relationship with a loving and fit parent. Currently the DSM-5, a classification of mental disorders that is used as a diagnostic tool by professionals, does not list parental alienation as a condition. Two researchers, Dr. William Bernet (Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University) and Dr. Amy J.L. Baker, have submitted a proposal to change that and we need your help to make this happen! They are collecting names of those who support this change. You can add your name and let the American Psychiatric Association know that you want parental alienation added to the DSM-5 through this link. If you’d like to read the suggested description and rationale for the change, we’re including them at the bottom of this email.

Please help our kids by signing your name on and letting the APA know that you’d like parental alienation added to the DSM-5.

Thank you,


Don Hubin, Pd.D.

Chair, National Board of Directors



This document proposes that parental alienation be considered a relational problem in the chapter of DSM-5-TR, “Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention.” This is the proposed wording for parental alienation relational problem (PARP):

Z62.898    Parental Alienation Relational Problem

This category may be used when a child—usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict separation or divorce—allies strongly with one parent and rejects a relationship with the other parent without a good reason. The diagnosis of parental alienation relational problem usually requires five criteria: the child actively avoids, resists, or refuses a relationship with a parent; the presence of a prior positive relationship between the child and the now rejected parent; the absence of abuse or neglect or seriously deficient parenting on the part of the now rejected parent; the use of multiple alienating behaviors by the favored parent; and the manifestation of behavioral signs of alienation by the child.  

Rationale for Proposed Change

 PARP is a serious mental condition that sometimes occurs when a child’s parents are engaged in a high-conflict separation or divorce. For the child, it is painful to be caught in the battleground between their parents. For the alienated parent, it is humiliating, traumatic, and extremely frustrating to be irrationally rejected by a child, with whom they previously had an enjoyable, loving relationship. Both clinicians and forensic practitioners need to be able to: identify this condition when it is presented in both evaluation and therapy sessions; take steps to prevent its progression when it is mild in severity; and devise appropriate interventions when it is at a moderate or severe level of intensity.


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